Belfast Telegraph

The Apprentice contestant on bail

One of Lord Sugar's Apprentice contestants is on police bail after being arrested on suspicion of fraud.

Mortgage broker Christopher Farrell, 29, was quizzed over alleged financial irregularities and released on bail pending further inquiries, Devon and Cornwall Police said.

It is understood the allegation relates to making a false representation via cheque or card.

It also emerged Christopher, who will be seen on the new Apprentice series next week, has a weapons conviction, which he did not disclose to TV producers.

Farrell was in the dock at Plymouth Crown Court last September - just before filming for the hit TV show started - and admitted two charges of possessing an offensive weapon.

Police had found an extendable baton and a knuckleduster in his Mercedes after being called to his Plymouth home following allegations he hit his wife with the knuckleduster.

Judge Francis Gilbert rejected claims the weapons were "trinkets" from his forces days being stored in the car, giving him a two-year conditional discharge but ordering him to pay £847 costs. His wife did not press charges.

A check did not pick up the conviction because it was made in the month before his court appearance.

Talkback Thames, which makes The Apprentice for the BBC, said: "We received a police disclosure certificate on August 16, 2009 which confirmed that Chris Farrell had no previous criminal convictions or cautions.

"However it emerged this week that Chris Farrell had subsequently received a conviction for carrying offensive weapons on September 2, 2009. Mr Farrell did not disclose this to Talkback Thames. Filming of the upcoming series of The Apprentice commenced on September 10, 2009 and concluded prior to Christmas. At no point during filming were the production company aware of Mr Farrell's conviction."

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